If you are a Tai Chi or Qigong teacher, these newsletters are pearls of insight into Tai Chi and Qigong that could vastly deepen the benefits your students get from their Tai Chi journey with you ... we are your helper .. so, please feel free to share these newsletters with your students!
|| Military Researchers work with
Universities to study "Tai Chi to
Reduce Opioid Addiction" ...
Opioids are the main driver of drug
overdose deaths across the United
States, and West Virginia has been
among the hardest hit by the crisis,
experiencing the highest overdose
death rates in the country ...
... over the last several years, the
military has been dedicated to
researching and developing more
effective tools for pain management,
ultimately reducing the number of
those potentially exposed to
opioid addiction ...
Schoomaker, now retired, continues to lead these efforts, serving as vice chair for leadership,
and programs for USU's department of military and emergency medicine, which oversees DVCIPM.
"We now have good evidence for the use of
, non-opioid treatments, such as yoga, guided imagery, medical massage, chiropractic, acupuncture, Tai Chi, as well as a closely related movement therapy called Qigong, and music therapy," he said. "We have pretty good research to endorse their use."
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
National Institutes of Health
National Center for Complimentary & Alternative Medicine
Tai Chi & Qigong video
PBS - Discoveries in Alternative Medicine
on Dr. Effie Chow,
Founder of the
World Congress on Qigong
Tai chi fights stress, getting
popular w/ Millennials
Tai Chi not just for old people ...
CNN News, September 5th, 2017
Young practitioners looking for peace
York does tai chi three times a week, which he says helps him be more patient and go with the flow.
"I live in Southern California, so driving on the freeways, it can be tempting to rush through traffic and go as fast as you can," he said. "But since I've been doing tai chi, I've been able to stop and pull back and just be like 'all right, here I am in the flow. I'm going to go with it, and if it's slow, that's OK.' "
It also helps him be more patient in his job as classroom aide for special-needs children.
"A couple of times I have guided them through some breathing exercises, and within minutes, they're more focused. I'm more relaxed, they're more relaxed, and we're able to move on to the lessons," York said.
Dunn, who has been teaching tai chi in Los Angeles for more than three decades, says that in the past year and a half, he's gotten an uptick in calls from young men in the tech industry.
Qigong Breathing Tutorial from World Tai Chi & Qigong Day
From acupuncture to yoga, report updates
integrative medicine therapies
August 28th, 2017
Therapies used most frequently were nonvitamin, nonmineral dietary supplements (such as herbal medicines or probiotics), osteopathic or chiropractic manipulation, and yoga,
tai chi or qi gong.
use of complementary therapies was about 12% in children under age 18 years for both 2007 and 2012, it rose to 50% in children with chronic illnesses.
|Why Public Schools Worldwide Should Make Tai Chi & Qigong a Curriculum Standard ...
Medical Research: Tai Chi Treats ADD/ADHD
Attention Deficit and Hyper Activity Disorder
For anyone who practices tai chi regularly, "brain plasticity arising from repeated training may be relevant, since we know that brain connections are 'sculpted' by daily experience and practice," explains Kerr, who is investigating brain dynamics related to tai chi and mindfulness meditation at HMS. "Tai chi is a very interesting form of training because it combines a low-intensity aerobic exercise with a complex, learned, motor sequence. Meditation, motor learning, and attentional focus have all been shown in numerous studies to be associated with training-related changes-including, in some cases, changes in actual brain structure-in specific cortical regions."
COMING EVENT IN LATIN AMERICA ...
Federacion Internacional de Qigong para la Salud
3er. CURSO LATINOAMERICANO DE QIGONG PARA LA SALUD
1ra. COMPETENCIA LATINOAMERICANA DE QIGONG PARA LA SALUD
LIMA - PERU
Argentina - Bolivia - Brasil - Chile - Colombia - Cuba - Ecuador - Mexico - Puerto Rico - Peru
Del 11 al 15 de octubre del 2017
International Federation of for health
3st. Latin American course for health
1 RA. Latin American competition for health
Lima - Peru
Argentina - Bolivia - Brazil - Chile - Colombia - Cuba - Ecuador - Mexico - Puerto Rico - Peru
From 11 to 15 October 2017
|A Tai Chi Teaching / Learning Tip ...
I recently got this question from a new student:
This is Todd [not his actual name] - I have few questions that you may want to help me.
I was doing Karate when I was young, Shotokan, and I feel it was easier to learn than Tai Chi. I am having hard time to learn it. I am only at the lesson 4 on your cd.
Is there a reason a reason why there are so many movements? (philosophy, something?)
Also I have a hard time to do it. Every time, I am trying to breath, I am thinking about my tongue, is it right place and my brain is not relaxing at all. I don't feel any effect after following your cd or your classes.
Is the tongue location very important? Do you have a picture how it should be? Why can I have my brain to shut down? lol
Thanks for your help.
MY REPLY TO TODD ...
Yes, on Tai Chi's complexity, and the purpose of it:
Tai Chi's multiple movements, although challenging to learn, once you learn them ... they take your mind out of the linear left-brain control mind, and into another state where you are feeling your breath and movements flow through you. This provides a meditative state where the brain waves change, and this offers many benefits. In other words, they are just complicated enough to keep your brain from "balancing your checkbook, or worrying about your credit card debt." They keep your mind out of the rat race for 15 or 20 minutes.
Also, the Tai Chi Long Form moves the body in about 95% of the ways the body is capable of moving, more than any other exercise does. After you learn the forms and they start to feel natural, then your mind becomes free to focus more on the breathing, and the "sinking," that sense of "letting go" through your entire being, loosening around the movements, and letting them "flow through you," kind of "massaging you" as they do. This takes time. This sensation can be more easily experienced in Moving Qigong because they are simpler and less complicated.
The mind gets tangled up in all kinds of things, "Am I doing this right?" "Am I breathing right?" "What am I doing wrong?" etc. etc. The goal of Qigong, and eventually Tai Chi is to let that part of your brain that thinks all the time, to just relax as you let your awareness be filled with the pleasure of gentle motions flowing through you ... feeling how the deep muscles are massaged as they sigh and let go around the bones.
The breathing and all of that aren't the point, the real point is to let go and feel, enjoy the sensation of the body being loosened by the experience and the pleasure as the body is massaged by it. The full breathing is just a tool to help us let go and get to that state, there is no greater sense of letting go, than the release of a full breath, a sigh, or a loosening yawn ...
As we breathe, and let go, and allow the motions to loosen us ... the energy field we are (which is all we are according to physics) can let go around, and unload the stresses we collect each day, so there is more space for the lightness, the Qi, the circulation to expand through us.
Tai Chi DVD Learning Tip:
When you watch a DVD, look over your shoulder at your TV, then you don't have to switch in your mind the left hand/right hand as you do when looking directly at the screen.
Tai Chi is harder than Karate partly because it is moving slowly. Moving faster is easier on your balance, etc. But, Tai Chi IMPROVES balance profoundly, better than any known balance therapy.
Also, Karate is an "external art" done with the control/left brain like most of us use in the world each day. Tai Chi is an internal meditative mindfulness art, so it asks us to go deeper, feel deeper, on many levels. This can be challenging, but it is ultimately vastly fulfilling and beneficial.
The key to learning off the DVD or in class is to take Lesson 1, and do it each day for a week or so, until the movements are part of your cellular memory, not working so much to memorize them, but letting your "cells" memorize them from repetition. Then when the 2 or 3 movements on lesson 1, are part of your cellular memory and they start to "flow through you" rather than you making them happen, then move on to Lesson 2, and so on.
The tongue location is not so important to worry about. If it comes to mind, just touch it to the gum line and let yourself fill with a deep breath. Then on the exhale let go of everything, including the thought or worry of where your tongue is touching.
The meditation techniques are not things to control or master, they are vehicles to help us begin to "let go" of our grip on ourselves. The lightness, or life energy, is everywhere, all throughout us all the time, we don't have to create it in our mind, or hold a vision of it, or control it in any way ... it is the opposite of effort ... it expands through us when we "let go" of our body, our being, our control ... and allow space for it.
Now, this can take time to enjoy. And it will happen quicker if you practice daily, meditate daily, do the Qigong and Tai Chi daily ... but
not as homework,
as play ... to enjoy the sensations of breath, of being, of letting go and being loosened.
And it may have impacts on you that you are unaware of at first. I was giving private lessons to an Emergency Room physician at his home each week (because of his crazy schedule). After 2 weeks he confided to me, "Bill, I don't get this Energy Work Meditation stuff. I don't know what I'm doing, or supposed to be doing. I dont' know if I'm doing it right."
The next week, when I came to his house he said, "Bill, I think maybe I'm starting to understand this Energy Meditation."
I said, "Oh, how's that John?"
He replied, "Because this week my ER staff told me, 'we don't know what you've been doing, but keep doing it, because you are WAY easier to get along with than you used to be.'"
Meditation, Qigong, Tai Chi allow us space to breathe and let go around things, and as our mind spins, or our body shows us how tight it is, by practicing breathing and letting go of our grip on ourselves again and again and again ... these loads in this field that we are have space to start to let go and evaporate ... and often the people around us notice the changes this has on us faster than we do.
We become less urgent.
To learn Tai Chi, to take the Tai Chi journey we have to do what Taoists say is the most important thing there is to do, and that is to "be compassionate with ourselves." If we can do that, we can start to relax through the challenges of learning Tai Chi and Meditation, becoming less demanding, judgmental, and critical of ourselves ... of our mind's behavior and our body's challenges ... just accepting these things and breathing and letting go around them.
It is a new way of seeing ourselves ... and it takes time ... and a lot of practice. But not the kind of practice where we work and strain at it ... the kind where play at it ... because it feels good to breathe ... and let go ... and feel our field, our mind, our being starting to relax open and lighten up on itself.
Oh yeah, one thing I forgot to ask is, have you read my book yet? It has many many many more answers to issues and challenges and tips to enjoy the most from Tai Chi. It is called, "
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Tai Chi & Qigong
" (4th edition).
"4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon"
Bill Douglas, 25 year Tai Chi Meditation Teacher
Founder of World Tai Chi & Qigong Day
This Week's Feature ...
The Tai Chi Symbol
Often called the Yin Yang symbol
As you see above, WorldTaiChiDay.org works very hard to expand awareness of the medical science and popular trends that are expanding Tai Chi and Qigong across the planet to improve people's lives, bring peace and calm to a harried world, to save society vast amounts of money and reduce human suffering. Our globally used free resource at WorldTaiChiDay.org dedicates itself to this goal.
BUT, it is also very fun and fascinating to ponder the deeper possibilities and aspects of the Internal arts ... and in this issue we explore the legendary "Tai Chi Symbol." Enjoy!
This simple symbol is at the heart of Tai Chi, or Taoist philosophy. It is a kind of ink blot test, where people often see in it what they want. But in reality, this simple elegant symbol is one of the most singularly profound things in the world. In this issue of our global newsletter we'll look at some of the amazing aspects of The Tai Chi Symbol.
Below takes you step-by-step into understanding the stunningly accurate image of the universe ancient Tai Chi/Taoist philosophers were able to comprehend by exploring their "inner universe," which is something Tai Chi & Qigong's internal, Yin, exploration of our being supports ... supporting our ability to understand ourselves, our surrounding universe, and our place in it at much deeper levels.
Each section offers the Tai Chi/Taoist insights, followed by their parallel modern physics or mathematics discoveries., which validate Tai Chi/Taoist philosophies amazing insights into reality.
The Tai Chi Positive / Negative Polarities of the Universe
The Tai Chi Symbol, is often called the Yin Yang symbol because it depicts the white wave (yang) and the black wave (yin) aspects of the universe--the positive and negative polarities of the universe.
The Physics of Positive/Negative Polarities
Today physics informs us that indeed the entire universe is in fact made of positive and negative polarities ... electrons (negative charge) and protons (positive charge) ... and every single thing in the universe is made of the subatomic particles.
|"The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself."
-- Carl Sagan
"Albert Einstein called the intuitive or metaphoric mind a sacred gift. He added that the rational mind was a faithful servant. It is paradoxical that in the context of modern life we have begun to worship the servant and defile the divine."
-- The Metaphoric Mind: A Celebration of Creative Consciousness, by Bob Samples
How is it possible that ancient mystic masters could have understood aspects of the physical universe that modern science is only now discovering?
Good question. Realize that in the Western/modern world our science is an exploration of the universe from the "outside in." The goal is to examine reality as a "detached observer."
Ancient Eastern mystics (for lack of a better word) were also exploring the universe, but not from the outside in ... but rather from their most direct access to nature and the universe ... which was their own being and consciousness.
So, since they were exploring the same universe from two different angles, it makes sense that they would in big ways arrive at the same conclusions, or truths.
This is an extremely exciting time to be alive on our planet, as science becomes able to look deep enough into reality, via evolving technology, to see some vast and deep truths about our existence, which seem to have been glimpsed many centuries before by mind-body masters.
"For the scientist who has lived by his faith in
the power of reason, the story ends like a bad
dream. He has scaled the mountain of
ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest
peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he
is greeted by a band of theologians who have
been sitting there for centuries."
- Robert Jastrow, astronomer/physicist.
Founding director of NASA's Goddard Institute
for Space Studies, director of the Mount Wilson
Institute and Hale Solar Laboratory
Physic's Underlying Cosmic Energy Field
Connecting ALL THINGS ...
Everything we call real is made of things
which cannot be regarded as real.
-- Niels Bohr
Danish, physicist who made foundational contributions to understanding atomic structure and quantum
theory, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1922.
99.9999% of the universe is empty space, that physics refers to as the "vacuum," BUT it is not actually empty space, it is a field of potential energy from whence all particles that make up all matter emerge from. It is the unmanifest force behind all the things we see, which again are actually only energy fluctuations in this vast vacuum that makes up nearly all of reality. Yes, we know, this sounds like something a Taoist monk might say in a temple BUT THIS IS PHYSICS. Physicists once thought that empty space was indeed an empty vacuum, but insights into Quantum physics have revealed the above reality about the universe, and the above insights are not those of a mystic master, but insights from respected physicists' understanding of the universe we live in.
In Quantum physics, the quantum field is the field of potential energy that all the particles that make up manifest physical reality emerge from.
Tai Chi/Taosim's Underlying Energetic Nature of the Universe
Tai Chi & Qigong are part of Traditional Chinese Medicine, based on the reality that "all things are made of energy," and that we treat illness and disorder on an energetic level, which then effects the energetic fluctuations we call manifest reality (including our bodies). We unblock and open the flow and expanse of energy when we do Tai Chi and Qigong, and medical research shows us today that has profoundly positive effects in our physical bodies, and in our brain and mind.
The Tao is the underlying "unmanifest" order of the universe. Lao Tzu called it the "mother of all things." All things emerge from the Tao, this field of perceived emptiness which becomes the world we see. Now, after reading the above physics insights, we know you may think this insight was written by a physicist, but it was actually conceived of 2,000 years ago by ancient Taoists.
is called the Great Mother: empty yet inexhaustible ..."
-- Lao Tzu, Tao te Ching
Tai Chi's Self-Replicating Nature of the Universe
Tai Chi/Taoist philosophy saw a "self-replicating" nature of the universe, which is reflected in the Tai Chi (Yin Yang) Symbol's black dots and white dots in the white and black wave of the symbol. When you look closely at an actual Tai Chi symbol, you find that in those dots are "smaller Tai Chi symbols" and in the dots on those smaller symbols are yet smaller Tai Chi symbols.
Tai Chi/Taoist philosophers saw this self-replicating fractal aspect of being in many forms. For example, realizing that the health of the DNA in the body reflects the health of the body (or more accurately, how the body reflects the DNA's health). In turn the individual's health reflects the communities health, and the community's health reflects the health of the nation, and the nation's health reflects the planet's state of health.
The Mathematics of Self-Replication, or the Fractal Universe
Cutting edge Chaos Mathematics has discovered that reality is self-replicating, via their creation of an evolving mathematical equation that produces "a finger-print" of life. They created a way to make these vast evolving equations, that replicate life, visual -- in the form of fractal art.
|Notice how the leaf of a tree is a smaller fractal
image of the larger tree ... seeing the trunk,
branches, etc. of a tree in the veins of a leaf ...
An example of fractal reality.
|Notice the "enlarged" tip of the fractal
image (see dotted lines extending from smaller fractal tip, to the enlargement.)
See how, when that small tip is enlarged it very much resembles the shape of the larger fractal.
Again, fractal images represent vast chains of evolving mathematical equations that reflect organic life, created by chaos mathematicians to enable us to see the order in the chaos of evolutionary life, and also here, the self-replicating nature of the universe.
The Tai Chi Symbol -- A Symbol of Balance, Unity
The Tai Chi symbol (Yin Yang)'s fractal reality, as you see above, represented the concept that "all things are connected" -- the DNA to the individual, the individual to the community, etc. Those of us who read the Tao te Ching 40 years ago accepted this as a "poetic concept" that resonated on some level, but had no know scientific basis. Below I'll unfold how now science is finding that Tai Chi/Taoist insights into all things being connected is actually a scientific insight, not just philosophy.
The Tai Chi symbol's main meaning is that it represents the non-duality, or singularity, of the universe which existed just a moment before the Big Bang occurred ... which spread the positive/negative duality that is manifest life across the universe.
Just prior to that explosion all of what we know of reality had no duality. The Yin and Yang, or Negative / Positive polarities did not yet exist, or rather were all contained within the "singularity" of existence that was not a dualistic existence but a unified existence.
As Tai Chi and Qigong's Internal Arts foster a unity between mind and body, left brain - right brain, etc., that synchronization may go beyond our skin to the universe we live in. It may foster our synchronicity with the universal field all things are connected in. So, how is it that this indicates we are "connected to everything?" We have to go to quantum physics' Quantum Entanglement revelations to understand.
Quantum Entanglement or Non-Locality Theory ...
Physics has discovered that all things in the universe are indeed connected, yes, just as the Taoist/Tai Chi philosophy had stated thousands of years ago.
They found that if two photons had at one time been connected, that they would forever maintain a connection no matter how far apart, even if on other sides of the universe. If one spun one way, the connected photon would spin the opposite way, instantly ... meaning that they were connected.
Now, as you know, the Tai Chi Symbol represented the moment of unity, just prior to the Big Bang. Physicists estimate that just prior to the Big Bang everything that is now the known universe was about the "size of a pea."
What this means is that "every photon in every part of the universe is connected" from the very beginning. As Quantum Entanglement research found, once things are connected ... they are forever connected no matter how distant from one another they become.
All things in the universe are "forever connected" just as Taoist/Tai Chi philosophy pointed out thousands of years ago.
|"Music in the soul, can be heard by the universe."
-- Lao Tzu, Tao te Ching
"To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders."
-- Lao Tzu, Tao te Ching
"For the wise man looks into space and knows that there are no limited dimensions."
-- Lao Tzu, Tao te Ching
When we make Tai Chi and Qigong practice part of our life, we often find that things go smoother ... we have less conflict with those around us ... we tend to find and see patterns in reality that enable us to solve problems more easily with less conflict, less effort, and more impact ... impact that benefits everyone involved. What strategists call Win/Win solutions.
Is this because Tai Chi and Qigong are tools to help us touch back into our reality of being part of the universe ... enabling us to find more harmony ... rather than seeing ourselves as "apart, isolated" and at odds with the universe and those around us?
Yet, it could be even more than that. Many find that the practice of Tai Chi and Qigong increases their synchronicity in the world. Synchronicity is when many things align to create an elegant outcome.
One of my Tai Chi students who worked in aerospace remarked in class after he'd been doing Tai Chi and Qigong for several weeks ... how he'd been browsing an old web page of his company's website. He noticed an outdated part, and a realization struck him that this old part might solve a problem they were having with a new version of the design.
He walked out of his office, and a stock room worker happened to be going by, and he asked him, "Do we have any of these in stock?" Pointing to the outdated part.
The clerk replied, "Nope, we don't have any in stock, but I have some on the bottom of this cart. I was just going to shelve them in the warehouse.
Is this so outlandish, if everything in the universe is connected? Perhaps future scientists will explore this more, and in time we may see how Tai Chi and Qigong's synchronization of mind/body may be a fractal image of what they can do for us in the larger world.
Can these tools foster a more harmonious world? We see in prisons how Tai Chi, Qigong, and Mind-Body practices reduce violence and the return to prison rates. We see how they reduce problems in schools and make students more educable. As these tools spread worldwide ...
can they offer a fractal unfolding that lessens conflict and violence worldwide? ...
can they foster a new economy and international relation that will foster and nurture every human being on the planet more, and our ecosystem which nurtures us all?
If you look back at huge breakthroughs in human history ... they began with people "in a place of stillness opening to greater possibility" and then reality had space for the insights, the flow of resulting physical changes in science, technology, etc.
It is okay to dream, to envision, to play with the evolving understanding of reality. Don't be disturbed by pondering things that are "not completely knowable yet." Remember when you first started studying Tai Chi? Remember how you experienced frustration because
so much of it did not make sense at first ... you had to just be with the practice, and let it unfold. It is okay, and fun to ponder concepts bigger than we can currently understand, and in fact may be the precursor to unfolding a larger world with greater possibility.
In Sifu Arthur Rosenfeld's brilliant book "Tai Chi--The Perfect Exercise," he touches on this.
I'm paraphrasing, but he says something like, 'Our success with Tai Chi does not depend on what we might normally consider for other physical endeavors. It does not depend on our muscular strength, our dexterity, our speed, etc. ... what is most important to assure our success in Tai Chi is whether we can be okay experiencing a constant state of bewilderment.'
Our collective efforts to spread Tai Chi, Qigong, and Mind-Body practices worldwide may have a global effect of connecting the planet on a deeper level, and loosening the psyche of humanity to allow space for the innovations required to get us through this challenging time in human history when we struggle to create a sustainable world with a rapidly expanding population.
Tai Chi & Qigong's ability to foster our awareness of our "connection" to our world and to others could be a huge help, that could deeply affect the way that we approach life and our world with decisions and actions that nurture all.
-- Bill Douglas, Founder of World Tai Chi & Qigong Day
"The ones who are crazy enough
to think that they can change the
world, are the ones who do."
-- Steve Jobs
HAVE YOU SEEN THIS MIND BLOWING DOCUMENTARY?
The "Feedback Loop" our consciousness creates the universe we live in through.
IMPORTANT SUGGESTION: If you watch the above documentary on Youtube, don't watch it on your computer IF you have a SMART TV. Rather watch it on your television screen so you can kick back and watch it like a movie. It puts your brain in a whole different mode ... watching on a computer is fast, work, a task ... watching it on your TV is relaxing, entertainment ... a wholly more "open" way to view this amazing documentary.
Recommended reading ... to augment your Tai Chi & Qigong journey
||Zen Buddhism does not conflict with any religion ... for it does not worship deities... but rather is a mind-body science seeking the middle way to live ...
What Every Tai Chi Instructor Should wish For
I'm between my two Wednesday evening practices and something happened that was the greatest reward I ever received as an instructor. I want to share it with you because it so excites me and feel you're one of the few people who understands my feeling of excitement.
I encourage everyone, regardless of physical or mental challenges, to join our practices. Some stand, some sit, some do all the forms; some do only a few. Most recently I've had a person with cerebal palsy and another with Parkinson's Disease who uses a walker. I've had stroke recovery patients and severely demented individuals in past practices.
Today the man with Parkinson's left our practice and forgot his walker. He was walking and moving so well and his balance was so stable he just didn't need it.
I had to chase after him to return the walker.
This may never happen again, but it doesn't have to, I have already been rewarded with as high an honor as a Tai Chi instructor should hope to attain. I feel incredibly happy and more relaxed and focused than I have in years.
Glenn P. Eisen